Public investment into community sport is to reach children as young as five as part of a ground-breaking new strategy on sport announced by Sports Minister Tracey Crouch today.
The move will see Sport England’s remit changed from investing in sport for those aged 14 and over to supporting people from five years old right through to pensioners, in a bid to create a more active nation.
Investment will be targeted at sport projects that have a meaningful, measurable impact on how they are improving people’s lives – from helping young people gain skills to get into work, to tackling social inclusion and improving physical and mental health.
Funding will also be targeted at groups who have low participation rates to encourage those who do not take part in sport and physical activity to get involved. This includes supporting women, disabled people, those in lower socio-economic groups and older people. Sport England will set up a new fund in 2016 to get inactive people physically active and will support and measure participation in sport and wider physical activity going forward.
At the elite end of sport, government is supporting our Olympic and Paralympic athletes beyond Rio 2016 through to Tokyo 2020 with increased exchequer funding.
Sports Minister Tracey Crouch said:
Sport has an incredible power to do social good and that is what our new strategy is all about. We will invest in sport and physical activity that shows how it can have a positive impact on people’s lives, how it brings communities together while ensuring it continues to make a significant contribution to the economy too.
We want to give everyone the best possible experience of sport from the earliest age which is why Sport England will now support children from five years old. We also want to maintain Britain’s reputation as one of the leading nations in the world for putting on major sporting events while making sure we are the best in the world on good governance too.
On sports governance, UK Sport and Sport England, along with the other Home Nation Sports Councils, will agree a new UK wide sports governance code by September 2016.
This will unify the approach by sports governing bodies to governance and look at areas such as board composition, representation and transparency. The code will be mandatory for all sports bodies that want to receive public funding from 2017.
Government has also agreed with the Premier League that, given the increase in their broadcasting income, the League will at least double their investment in grassroots football over the coming three seasons, that will help improve facilities and grow football across the country.
Exact details of the deal will be finalised pending the outcome of the Ofcom investigation into how the Premier League sells its broadcasting rights.
Upholding the integrity of sport is an important part of the strategy and government will review the effectiveness of its existing legislative structure on dealing with corruption in sport. Tackling corruption in sport will also be a key part of the Prime Minister’s International Anti-Corruption summit in London next year.
As well as rooting out corruption, all in the sports sector have a duty of care to those that participate in sport – whether at the grassroots or elite level. Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson has been appointed to lead an independent working group to do detailed work in this area so that everyone can participate safely in sport. This will mean elite athletes have plans and opportunities for other careers when their playing days are over, their sporting career is cut short by injury, or if they are released by clubs or governing bodies.
In order to help maximise sports’ contribution to the economy, the government, UK Sport, the Home Nations’ Sport’s Councils and the devolved administrations will work together on a new strategy for Britain to bid for and host some of the biggest events in world sport in the years to come.
Government is also to facilitate discussions between the home nation football, cricket and rugby governing bodies and our successful Olympic and Paralympic sports that have enjoyed phenomenal success in the last two Games. This will ensure that no stone is left unturned to help home nation success at future World Cups in the major team sports.